ski

Welcome to the official Ski Oakenfull Website.
Ski is an Artist, Keyboard player, Producer, Remixer and Composer living in London. Having started his career with The K-Creative who were signed to Gilles Peterson's Talkin' Loud label in 1991, he went on to release two solo albums, Life Changes & Rising Son, play keyboards with bands such as Galliano, Raw Stylus & Two Banks of Four, remix over 50 tracks, and work at Xenomania. He currently releases music on his own label, Primaudial Records, plays live with The Bays, writes & produces with artists such as Incognito, Joey Negro, Valerie Etienne. He has an Ambient Electronic project called Ayota, and also does a bit of DJing in his spare time. Alongside his production work, Ski holds the position of Head of Education at Point Blank Music School where he writes courses in electronic music for their BA (Hons) degree programmes. He has also made over a hundred videos for the school’s YouTube channel which have racked up over six million views.. Please have a look around this site, and feel free to leave a message.

Deep House Arpeggiation Article in this week's DJ Mag Weekly 89

The Ableton Deep House Arpeggiated Chord Pattern Generator Tutorial video I made for Point Blank Online College has been published in this week's DJ Mag Free online edition. You can check it out here: http://www.djmag.com/djweekly/ Its DJ Weekly 89.
I'm also attaching the offline version for you to download. You'll find the attachment underneath the picture..

Deep House Arpeggiation Article in this week's DJ Mag Weekly 89
AttachmentSize
DJ089.zip16.66 MB

Electronic Music Composition (EMC) Course

I'm currently developing a brand new course for Point Blank Online Music College. Please take a look at the Promo Video below and also visit the brochure page for detailed info.
Meanwhile here is the blurb....

When producing a track, we've all experienced that point when you can't get any further and need some extra inspiration. Electronic Music Composition (EMC) will help you overcome this obstacle by showing you how to develop the musical aspects of your tracks in an easy to understand way without getting bogged down in scales and theory. You'll learn how to add hooks, riffs, chords, basslines, melodies, develop your arrangements and work with vocals whilst keeping everything in key so it 'sounds right'.Also, importantly, how to finish your tracks! We analyze and demonstrate how classic and cutting edge tunes are put together musically to clearly show you the techniques they use so you can implement them in your own tracks. You'll find EMC both engaging and inspiring, just what making music should be.It's developed by virtuoso keyboardist Ski Oakenfull (solo artist signed to Sony andremixer/producer/writer/player for artists including Incognito, Joey Negro and The Bays). The course contains new presentation techniques that enable you to see exactly what's being played on the keys and what's happening in the software/DAW. This course is compatible with both Ableton Live AND Logic. You will be able to use these ideas and techniques in your own productions to get that musical buzz you're missing. Check out the preview and see you in class!

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Ableton Tutorial - Deep House Arpeggiated Chord Pattern Generator

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This is a tutorial video demonstrating how I achieved an Arpeggiated Chord Pattern Generator in Ableton Live.
You can download a free instrument rack of this sound by going to the 'Free Sounds' section of this site. 
It will appear very soon as part of the Online DJ Mag  Tech section. I will post a link as soon as it is published.
But for now, here is the video and accompanying text.

Taking inspiration from Deep House don and Freerange Records label boss Jimpster, I wanted to have a go at recreating a musical part I heard recently from one of his tracks.
I loved the way the rhythm of the pattern lies on the off beat, so I set about trying to figure a way to achieve this in Ableton.
One of Live’s major assets are its fantastic Midi Effects which, when combined together in series, can perform some powerful Midi processing. So for this project I used the following Midi devices:

Arpeggiator
This allows you to hold down any number of keys, and have Ableton build up a Rhythmic pattern (Arpeggio) using these notes. The important thing in my example, is that I had to set the rate to Free mode to get that offbeat rhythm.

Chord
This allows you to play a single note on the keyboard, and have Ableton add extra notes allowing you to build up chords. In this example I programmed a Minor Triad (+3 & +7)

Scale
This basically allows you to play any notes on the keyboard but force the output to play only notes from a specified scale. This was used to take the output of the Chord device and force it to play only notes in D Minor.

My aim for this project was to be able to hold down one note on the keyboard, and get Ableton to do the work for me. To achieve this I used the following combination of Midi Devices:
Chord (playing 5 notes) -> Arpeggiator -> Chord (playing Minor Triad)  -> Scale (playing Notes from D Minor)

This technique could be applied to any genre to music, and could potentially trigger any sound or sample.. I hope you can experiment and have some fun!

Ableton Bashmore Bass Article in this week's DJ Mag

The Ableton Deep Bass Tutorial video I made for Point Blank Online College has been published in this week's DJ Mag Free online edition. You can check it out here: http://www.djmag.com/djweekly/ Its DJ Weekly 85.
I'm also attaching the offline version for you to download. You'll find the attachment underneath the picture..

Ableton Bashmore Bass Article in this week's DJ Mag
AttachmentSize
DJ085.zip14.23 MB

Ableton Tutorial - Creating the Julio Bashmore Bass Sound

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This is a tutorial video demonstrating how I achieved the bass sound used in Julio Bashmore's 'Battle For Middle You' using Analog in Ableton Live.
You can download a free instrument rack of this sound by going to the 'Free Sounds' section of this site.
It will appear very soon as part of the Online DJ Mag Tech section. I will post a link as soon as it is published.
But for now, here is the video and accompanying text.

Creating a Deep Bass Sound using Analog

Julio Bashmore’s ‘Battle For Middle You’ was perhaps one of the most defining tracks of 2011. It managed to not only attain the enviable position of crossing over to a wide range of DJs, but also be at the forefront of last year’s Bass Music revolution.
One of the key ingredients to the sound of ‘Bass Music’ is of course the Bass, and this is certainly evident on Bashmore’s track. The sound is very similar to the Sine wave based analogue Kick Drum of a Roland TR808 Drum Machine, with a sharp bite to the attack, and long release. The main difference however is how defined the pitch is, making it more like an analogue bass patch from a synthesizer.
So in this tutorial I have set about trying to recreate this classic sound using Ableton Live. Although the ‘Operator’ might seem like a natural choice with it’s Sine wave FM style synthesis, I have used the ‘Analog’ instrument as it has a warmer, more authentic sound with its Oscillators and Filters.
I used two Oscillators, the first of which I set to a Sine wave to create the main characteristic of the deep, subby tone. For the second one I chose a Sawtooth to add some body, and give the sound some definition across a wider pitch range. To create the sharp attack, I used a very tight Pitch Envelope on the first Oscillator combined with some Filtering with added Resonance to help beef up the sound.
I made sure that the Amp Envelope on both Oscillators had a fast attack and also fairly long release to let the sound sustain. To accentuate this I added a little Compression, which seems to fatten the overall sound and even it out when played at varying pitch.
Finally I added a touch of EQ, boosting the frequency around 150Hz, although this is more of a mixing thing and should take account of the other elements you have in your tune like your Kick Drum.
So from Dubstep to Deep House to Drum & Bass, I think this provides a really useable sound for all the variants of Bass music. I hope you enjoy the tutorial!

Gilles Peterson Worldwide BBC Radio 1 Jingle Package 1998

Date: 
1 May, 1998

This is a Jingle Package Gilles & Benji B (his producer at the time) asked me to do way back in 1998 when he first started at BBC Radio 1.
If you find any recordings of his shows from back then you'll probably hear them!

Gilles Peterson Worldwide BBC Radio 1 Jingle Package 1998 by skioakenfull

My Ableton Looper Tutorial in this week's DJ Mag

The Ableton Looper Tutorial video I made for Point Blank Online College has been published in this week's DJ Mag Free online edition. You can check it out here:
http://www.djmag.com/djweekly/
Its DJ Weekly 83
I'm also attaching the offline version for you to download. You'll find the attachment underneath the picture..

My Ableton Looper Tutorial in this week's DJ Mag
AttachmentSize
DJ083.zip14.82 MB

Ableton Tutorial - Looping on the fly

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This is a video I made to demonstrate using the Looper device to set up loops on the fly in Ableton Live, and use a midi controller to start and stop the loop.
It came about after the live sets I have been playing recently with Palm Skin Productions.
It will appear very soon as part of the Online DJ Mag Tech section. I will post a link as soon as it is published.
But for now, here is the video and accompanying text.

Ableton Looper Tutorial Video by Ski Oakenfull

The Looper tool  was a much requested feature of Ableton, and was only introduced relatively recently in version 8.
Before its arrival, it was still possible to loop pre-warped audio ‘on the fly’ in a DJ situation by assigning controllers to set start & end points in the clip inspector, but the Looper adds much more flexibility and provides some exciting possibilities.
Firstly it exists as an Ableton audio effect, so can be used as an insert or return. For a DJ set up, the return scenario is perfect as it allows you to send any of your DJ channels to the Looper, and then treat that return channel separately.
Secondly, you can assign your Midi controller to any of the functions of the Looper such as Record, Play, Stop, Overdub etc. This means you can ‘perform’ your Looping and introduces more of the chance element, and not be tied to your computer.
Thirdly it offers the ability to drag the audio it has ‘captured’ in its audio buffer to a new clip… So if you happened to grab a killer half bar loop during your top billing DJ set at Fabric, you can keep it for later and make a tune when you get back to the studio!
So in my tutorial video, I have gone about explaining how I use the Looper in a live performance situation. The set I am using to demonstrate this, is one that I have developed with my collaborator Palm Skin Productions. It combines DJ style playing of tracks, with beats and live playing.  We also use the Beat Repeat and Auto Filter effects, and have nearly every function mapped to a custom made template on a Novation Remote SL, as well as triggering clips and loops from a Novation Launchpad.
The video demonstration features the following tracks:
Powder House’ (Palm Skin Productions Remix) by Duotone – [ECC Records]
Just Don’t Break My Heart’ by Ski Oakenfull  [Primaudial Records]

New Year's Eve 2011 DJ Set live from my Flat

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Inspired by the fantastic Boiler Room website live DJ broadcasts, I decided to try it out for myself on New Years Eve 2011.. I set up a USTREAM account a few months ago, so all I needed to do was plug the output of my DJ Mixer into my Laptop and point the webcam at my Decks! Obviously the Argos rotating Disco Ball was also an important addition to the set up. The broadcast started a few minutes before 11pm and ran through to midnight where we saw in 2012! There was family around me and lots of distractions, but I hope you enjoy the set.. It was very random and was a mixture of Vinyl and iTunes
(I had another laptop out of site of the camera). Anyway, it was great fun and I'm definitely planning to do some more broadcasts, maybe more live music orientated.
Here's my USTREAM channel.. Please subscribe!

Ableton Tutorial - Microtonic inside a Drum Rack

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I'm currently tutoring Ableton & Logic at Point Blank Online Music College. In this video I show how you can set up the Microtonic Drum Synth inside Ableton's Drum Rack so you can benefit from individual outs and FX..
The resulting Instrument Rack can be downloaded here:
http://tinyurl.com/5vb7lmu
For more info on the tutors and courses available at Point Blank College please visit here:
http://tinyurl.com/62hllbd
This video has subsequently been re-made and is now included in the Point Blank Minimal Techno Course.